December 29, 2013

Holiday Fruitcake Everyone Will Love

Let's be honest, fruitcake has a bad rap. I will admit, I, like many others never had any interest in trying fruitcake before.  But my husband loves fruitcake so I decided to make him some for the holidays. But if I was going to make fruitcake I wanted to make a Holiday Fruitcake Everyone Will Love!
I baked this recipe both in a jar to mail overseas to Ashton and in the more traditional loaf pan to serve up at home. 
I used a large selection  of chopped fruits and walnuts and then made a simple batter and mixed them together. The end result was a surprisingly delicious, moist fruitcake packed with flavor!
View my tips and recipe for baking a cake in a jar: here!
 

One day late but hope you give this fruitcake a try and celebrate National Fruitcake Day!
 Don't forget to enter to win our giveaway below and read about restaurant.com here!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed and softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Put all chopped fruit and nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Add orange juice and mix well.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together on medium speed, butter and brown sugar until creamy.
  5. Next, add eggs and mix well.
  6. Then add flour and vanilla.
  7. Finally, mix in spices.
  8. Now add fruit mixture to batter.
  9. Pour into a greased baking dish, loaf pan, or mason jar and place on a baking sheet.
  10. Bake for approx. 60 minutes or until cooked through but still soft and moist.
  11. Remove from oven, cool,  then remove from baking dish and cut into slices.
I saw this mix on the shelf at Wal-Mart. This is the gooey, hard stuff that scares me!
Skip buying this and use this recipe instead!
I choose a variety of dried fruits and nuts for this recipe.
This is something that you can vary according to your tastes.
Mix all the chopped fruits and walnuts together in a bowl.
Add orange juice and mix well.
Beat together cubed softened butter and brown sugar until creamy. 
Next, add eggs and beat over medium.
Add flour and vanilla and beat until combined.
Finally, add seasonings: I used both allspice and cardamom.
Now just mix the fruit mix into the batter.
Now you have a pretty delicious fruitcake batter! 
Make sure to preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Spray your baking pans with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet.
Fill 3/4 way with fruitcake batter.
Place in the oven and bake for approx 60 minutes.
Let cool and then cut into slices and serve.
 
Isn't it pretty? Sweet, crunchy, and moist fruitcake that everyone will love!

Pretty Ava hanging out in the kitchen with her Mama!

Ashton loved his fruitcake in a jar! Here he is eating it overseas on Skype!
I also made my 7 Minute Peanut Brittle for Ashton.

How about a New Year's Giveaway? Enter to win here!


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December 22, 2013

My Top 12 Pumpkin Recipes

Winter is finally here but I still have Fall Pumpkin Fever

If you're like me then you are still cooking Pumpkin everything too! 
Here are my Top 12 Pumpkin Recipes for you to enjoy all year round.

Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Biscuit Donuts with Pumpkin Pie Glaze

Pecan Pumpkin Pie Dessert Pizza with Maple Whipped Cream

 

Pumpkin Pie Nutella Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Balls

 

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Dip

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Cookies

Harvest Pumpkin Chicken Pot Pies

 

Fall Beer Poached Shrimp and Loaded Pumpkin Grits

 and finally a dog recipe to end our 12 count..

 

Cheesy Pup-kin Homemade Dog Treats

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December 20, 2013

Festive Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Balls

I spotted these marshmallows in the holiday baking display at the grocery store and since I am on a pumpkin kick I instantly threw a bag (or two...) in my cart. These things are super addictive and make a tasty snack and hot chocolate topper but I knew I wanted to do more with them....then BAM it hit me! POPCORN BALLS! Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Balls are easy, fun, and knock your socks off good!

*Can't find Pumpkin Spice marshmallows at your store? They are limited edition and may not be available everywhere. Try a different holiday flavor instead!

Ingredients:

Makes 10-12 popcorn balls
  • 8 cups microwave popped popcorn- 1 (3 ounce) bag
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (8-10 ounce) bag Pumpkin Spice or your choice marshmallows
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add marshmallows, turn down heat, and stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Place popcorn in a large bowl.
  4. Pour marshmallow mix over popcorn and mix well. I use a rubber spatula coated in cooking spray to stir. 
  5. Coat hands with cooking spray and and shape popcorn into balls, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to dry.
  6. Wrap in colorful plastic wrap, tie with a ribbon, and give as festive gifts!
Melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and reduce heat. 
Stir until melted and smooth.
Pour over a large bowl of popped popcorn.
Using a rubber spatula coated in cooking spray mix the popcorn until covered in the melted marshmallow.  
Coat your hands with cooking spray and roll into 10-12 balls, placing on a 
baking sheet to harden and dry for a couple minutes.
Don't forget the cooking spray! It really helps things not be so sticky!
Can't find Pumpkin Spice marshmallows? Use holiday marshmallows instead. 
But do realize (I didn't, duh) when the marshmallows melt the green and red combine to make a milky pink color! HAHA....still tasty!

 

Don't forget the pretty presentation: wrap in colorful plastic wrap, tie with ribbon, and bundle in tissue paper with a gift tag. 
A simple yet delicious gift!


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